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    England Women's Soccer Captain Casey Stone Comes Out As Gay

    "How can I expect other people to speak about themselves if I'm not willing to do that myself?" says the Arsenal women's defender.

    England women's captain Casey Stoney made the decision to come out and speak publicly about being gay for the first time.

    The 31-year-old Arsenal defender told the BBC she has been out to her family "from very early on" but closeted in nearly every other aspect of her life.

    For nearly 10 years she was "living a lie," even going so far as to create fake boyfriends.

    Stoney was inspired to speak out at this time after seeing the public's positive reaction to Tom Daley's coming out – as well as the fact she is now in "a loving relationship."

    She admitted the decision came only after years of working with a sports psychologist, but she now feels very comfortable in her own skin.

    Stoney is now one of the most high-profile active gay footballers in England. The public's response has been overwhelmingly positive.

    The former Olympic athlete hopes that her actions can help anyone who is struggling with their own identity.

    Stoney added that she would not go to Russia or Qatar for the World Cup in 2018, due to the current anti-LGBT legislation. "I wouldn't be accepted there," she said.

    She has reportedly been dating Lincoln teammate Megan Harris as of December.

    They both certainly have an adorable love of pugs.

    Harris tweeted the fashion forward pug while Casey Stoney posted this footballer pug to her Facebook.

    Catch her full interview with the BBC here.